On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee grilled Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen about President Trump’s alleged statements regarding immigrants from “s***hole countries.” The Democrat who leaked the comments to the press, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), led the charge, suggesting that Nielsen was lying. What was the point of all of this? To prove, of course, that Trump is a racist and justify the media hysteria surrounding his comments.

But there’s one small problem.

That’s a lie.

The real reason Democrats are focused laser-like on Trump’s comments is that they believe they can force him to sign into law a clean bill on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said as much on Monday:

[Trump’s comments] over and over and over again can be described as nothing but racist and obnoxious. He says he’s not a racist. Well, … I have a challenge for Donald Trump. Okay, actions speak louder than words, if you want to begin, just begin that long road back to proving you’re not a racist, you’re not bigoted, support the bipartisan compromise that three Republicans and three Democrats have put on the floor — everyone gave — and get the DREAMers safety here in America. That’s what he should do.

In other words, if Trump wants to prove he's not a racist, he should agree with Democratic policy. How convenient.

This is also an odd request, given that Trump’s sin here is supposedly bigotry based on place of origin. If Democrats truly believed that such language was bigoted, wouldn’t they be pushing for a merit-based immigration system, and changes to the diversity visa lottery? After all, the diversity visa lottery is based on the notion that people from certain countries deserve entry to the United States more than people from other countries — the very basis of Trump’s supposed bigotry.

But Democrats don’t want a merit-based system. They want to use Trump’s alleged racism to push for a non-merit-based system. Which shows that they’re lying about Trump’s bigotry altogether. You can’t simultaneously maintain that it is bigotry to judge prospective immigrants purely by their place of origin, then insist that we judge prospective immigrants purely by their place of origin. Yet that’s what Democrats are doing.

All of which lays bare their agenda here. Trump should stand up to this nonsense by stating clearly that he wants a merit-based system, and will stand for nothing less. He should disown his alleged comments, and state that he was specifically calling for an end to a system that privileges certain countries above others — that he singled out South Korea as a target for immigration, for example, because immigrants from South Korea perform highly on a merit-based system, not because he prefers people from South Korea. That would put the onus on Democrats to explain why we shouldn’t judge immigrants individually on merit. And that would expose their ulterior motive in this entire affair: an immigration system that pushes politics above American interests.